Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Willie Goodwin, Jr. and Joe Harris, Sr., Part 1
Willie Goodwin and Joe Harris

Willie Goodwin, Jr. and Joe Harris, Sr. were interviewed on May 17, 2017 by Karen Brewster and Andy Mahoney in an apartment of the Fish and Wildlife Service bunkhouse in Kotzebue, Alaska. In this first part of a two part interview, Willie and Joe share their experiences with learning to hunt seals on shorefast ice and amidst moving, broken pieces of ice, and gaining knowledge of sea ice conditions and safety. They talk about the importance of understanding ice conditions, the effect of wind and current, freeze-up and break-up, and how conditions have changed in their lifetimes. They also discuss times when people have drifted out on moving ice.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-25-37_PT.1

Project: Sea Ice Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: May 17, 2017
Narrator(s): Willie Goodwin, Jr., Joe Harris, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster, Andrew "Andy" Mahoney
Transcriber: Denali Whiting
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Coastal Marine Institute, North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Joe's personal background

Willie's personal background, and work history

Bearded seal (ugruk) hunting and ice conditions

Effect of wind and current on ice, and effect of fresh river water on break-up and timing of break-up

Changes in beluga whale population

Observations of climate change

Seal hunting at the edge of the open lead

Changes in ice thickness and ice pile-ups (ivu)

Things to look for that signal dangerous ice conditions

Creation of overflow

Increase in fall storms

Drifting out on the ice

Effect of thin ice on access to an open lead, and use of dogteams versus snowmachine for safe traveling

Seal hunting by dogteam versus snowmachine

Changes in timing of freeze-up and break-up, and subsistence activities

Rivers, gravel berms and coastal fishing spots during the fall

Ice safety and getting caught in moving ice

Caribou hunting

Hunting and camping on the ice for long periods, and learning how to be safe out there

Checking and understanding the current

Freshwater verus saltwater ice

Iñupiaq words for various ice features, wind and currents

Water depth

Traveling across Kotzebue Sound to Cape Espenberg, and traveling to Sisualik

Story about Doc Harris drifting out on the ice

Story about Gideon and Bill Barr from Shishmaref drifting out on the ice

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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.

Transcript

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay, this is Karen Brewster and today is May 17th, 2017. And I’m here in Kotzebue, Alaska with Willie Goodwin and Joe Harris speaking about sea ice for the Sea Ice Project Jukebox. And I'm also joined by Andy Mahoney. Thank you, gentlemen, for joining me today.

Just to get us started, I’m going to ask Joe if you could just tell me a little bit about yourself. Did you grow up here in Kotzebue?

JOE HARRIS SR.: All my life, yeah, I grow up here. My born place is just right across there. In the hills.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, Sisua -- not in Sisualik? JOE HARRIS SR.: Right behind Sisualik. KAREN BREWSTER: Sisualik. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And then did you grow up -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Grow up in Kotzebue, yeah. Most -- mostly down the coast springtime with my parents hunting -- KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- all that sea mammals.

KAREN BREWSTER: What year were you born? JOE HARRIS SR.: 1932. KAREN BREWSTER: Things have changed a lot since then, huh? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And did you go to school? JOE HARRIS SR.: Didn’t go to school much. Maybe third grade, maybe second grade. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. JOE HARRIS SR.: Just around there.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so you've spent your life as a hunter? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, I -- I hunt all my life. Yeah. With the dogteams -- we used to hunt with the dogteams before the snowmachines come around. KAREN BREWSTER: Uh-huh. Yeah.

And then, Willie -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: A little bit about yourself. When were you born? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: 1944.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay, and you grew up -- that was here in Kotzebue? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yes, here in Kotzebue. KAREN BREWSTER: And you grew up here? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: What kind of an educational background do you have? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, I went through high school. High school at Mt. Edgecumbe, and then I went to electronic training in L.A. and New York. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: My -- my hope was to come back and work at the White Alice site. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: But then they closed it down so -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

And were you -- were either of you in the military? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not me. KAREN BREWSTER: No? JOE HARRIS SR.: National Guards. KAREN BREWSTER: You were in the National Guards? JOE HARRIS SR.: Once, yeah. When they first put it up over here. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

And then I know, Willie, you were in politics, right? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Every now and then. KAREN BREWSTER: Every now and then. You were mayor for the Northwest Arctic Borough? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, City of Kotzebue. KAREN BREWSTER: City of Kotzebue, okay.

And what other things have you done work wise?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, I worked at Cape Kennedy and then I transferred to Clear to the missile -- Ballistic Missile Early Warning site. And then I came home.

And then I started to work for RurAL CAP. And from there, when they formed the Northwest Native Association, I went to work there. And then NANA. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, okay.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I worked at NANA, and I was in charge of making sure that all of our land selections were done.

And then I went to work at the borough as the planning director. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. A long career. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And then you grew up hunting and fishing here as well? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. So why don’t we talk a little bit about your learning to hunt. And learning about the sea ice.

So, Joe, how old were you when you first went out on the ice? Do you remember? JOE HARRIS SR.: I was on my teens, I think. Following my dad. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

JOE HARRIS SR.: All them years I followed him with a dogteam. Go out -- out in the ice.

KAREN BREWSTER: What was your dad’s name? JOE HARRIS SR.: Henry. KAREN BREWSTER: Henry Harris. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. Do you remember what he told you the first time you went out? JOE HARRIS SR.: He never told me, he just -- I just followed him. He didn’t know -- he know what’s going on, I guess, though. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Only thing I don’t follow him is when he's start hunting ugruks (bearded seal). It’s all -- them days.

KAREN BREWSTER: So how did you hunt ugruk in them days? JOE HARRIS SR.: They hunt 'em.

When we stayed down -- down the coast right by Sealing Point, they go -- they go out with -- they pull their kayak sled.

They’d be out there ‘til they get their ugruk. And they just put that ugruk on their sled and the kayak and --

And when they can’t go on the ice they have -- they just take them home and put them in the water. (inuadible) ugruk.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. So they would camp on the ice? JOE HARRIS SR.: They’d over-night, maybe. They always sleep down there, too, maybe.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. And -- so you're catching the ugruk in the water? JOE HARRIS SR.: On top the ice. They always get them on top -- mostly on top the ice when they -- when it’s time to ugruk hunt.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. And then you use the kayak to go retrieve it? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, I’m trying to picture ugruk hunting on ice versus ugruk hunting in a boat in broken ice and how that’s different. JOE HARRIS SR.: It’s different than -- with kayaking, I guess.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, so you went by dogteam out to the edge of the ice? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: That ice used to be a long ways out, right to Espenberg across there.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. It was all solid ice? And so the lead was way out there? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. On that side, yeah. Toward Sealing Point.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. ‘Cause they don’t hunt ugruk like that anymore, do they? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. JOE HARRIS SR.: No.

KAREN BREWSTER: So now, when do you go ugruk hunting? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: After the ice breaks up.

JOE HARRIS SR.: After the -- after we seal hunt, they’ll start ugruk hunting later. Little later -- on June, someplace around there.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. So the ice breaks up, but it hasn’t gone all the way yet, right? JOE HARRIS SR.: It goes out first, then it always come back sometimes. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. So --

JOE HARRIS SR.: When it first open up it, always go away and come back.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: The main currents are further out and then the Kotzebue Sound ice just kinda circles. Goes around in Kotzebue Sound. Sometimes they’ll go and sometimes they’ll come back.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. So does the -- Is it the current that’s effecting it moving or the -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Or the wind? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Or both?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Mostly current. JOE HARRIS SR.: Current is stronger than the wind. KAREN BREWSTER: Really? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. That -- out there.

KAREN BREWSTER: How does the water from Noatak River and Kobuk Lake effect the ice out there?

Does it -- does the water flowing from Noatak River push the ice around at all? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. JOE HARRIS SR.: No.

KAREN BREWSTER: It’s just in it’s channel? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Just in it’s channel and muddy.

KAREN BREWSTER: The -- the Noatak water's muddy? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. When it first comes out, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah, I’m trying to picture how break-up happens. So the Noatak comes out first? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: And then what does it do to the ice? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, it makes a channel right through here and goes out to the channel, out to the deep water. And then just keeps going out.

Then when all of it goes out, some bits and pieces from here or from up in Kobuk Lake will go out, and go out also.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. And now so when that Noatak channel is broken through, do people put their boats in? And go out to the open ocean by boat? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, ‘cause the ice is too solid out there, it’s dangerous.

ANDY MAHONEY: So you can’t use the channel until the ice further out in the Sound is kinda opened up? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, after it breaks up. ANDY MAHONEY: After it breaks up.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, ‘cause it’s dangerous. We don’t go out with boats when it’s too solid. ANDY MAHONEY: And --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: ‘Cause those cakes are too big in there. They're dangerous. ANDY MAHONEY: They might trap the -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: -- boat or -- or -- or damage the boat? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah. Yeah. What time of year does that normally happen? When do you normally ex -- first expect to be able to put a boat in the water? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, nowadays it’s the end of May. ANDY MAHONEY: End of May. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Or before.

ANDY MAHONEY: So when you were hunting with your -- your dads maybe, when would you have put the boat in the water, do you think? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Probably in June, ah? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, June.

ANDY MAHONEY: And would that have been to hunt ugruk? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Ugruks, yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, ugruk. Yup.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about belugas? When did they used to come in? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Soon as it opened up to the main ocean. ‘Cause the ice moves around. Then they’ll come in on the Krusenstern side. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDY MAHONEY: So would you have ugruk and beluga at the same time? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Some -- yeah, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But nowadays there're not so many beluga? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No.

KAREN BREWSTER: Do -- the beluga used to go all the way down to Buckland and Deering, right? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. To Eschscholtz Bay.

KAREN BREWSTER: But not anymore? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I think there’s some. We haven’t had a survey done on our beluga in a long time, so we don’t know what -- how many is out there. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: But we do -- our people do report seeing them in the shallow waters, because there’s so much killer whales out there now. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. So --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Like in Goodhope Bay in front of Kiwalik. I -- and they’re going into Kobuk Lake and Selawik Lake.

KAREN BREWSTER: Really? Wow. So the killer -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: The few that are left. KAREN BREWSTER Right, the killer whales are pushing them -- ? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, into the shallow water. KAREN BREWSTER: -- trying to get them -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But you -- but local people -- hunters have noticed there are fewer belugas than there used to be? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah.

Do you guys talk about why? Why you think that is? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, there were some -- we just had some meetings with the -- the coastal villages around Kotzebue Sound. We got one more meeting on -- next week.

There’s a number of things, I think. There was a freeze-up in Russia that was reported in the National Geographic and it was in ’96 or ’97. ’96, I believe.

And then right after that we hardly saw any. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: So I think that some of them were part of that.

But until we get samples of -- bone samples from the other side, we’ll never know. But we do know it was right after that.

KAREN BREWSTER: That the decline started? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm, interesting.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Plus, maybe overhunting.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And what do you guys think about climate change? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We expected it. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah? How come?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. It was told to us by our people before us, ancestors, that the weather was going to change.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. How did they know? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, they observed the changes even back then. And the shifting of the sun.

And there was a -- a prophet named Manii -- Maniilaq that did some forecasting of things that was gonna happen. And one of them was that the rivers will come up, and a whale will come up near Ambler.

KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. Yeah, I’ve heard about Maniilaq and that he was a great prophet. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.

ANDY MAHONEY: Did Maniilaq say if the climate would continue -- if these changes would be permanent or if they would -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, it -- he also talked about winters back to back to back. In the future. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, okay.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Another ice age.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. Yeah, I think there’s a Kawerak story, too, about -- of the year that winter never went away. Isn’t there a Kawerak story? Something like that?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I don’t know, but I think there was a mini ice age back in the late 1700s. There’s about that same time that a lot of our people starved.

And they saw it over in Russia, they saw it in St. Lawrence Island.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. And so Willie, I asked Joe when he first went out on the ice, but what was your first experiences going out hunting out there?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We’ll, I’ve -- I had an opportunity to follow my dad and one time his dad, when I was a teenager with dogteam. But that was to hunt seals. We didn’t hunt any ugruks.

After the ice breaks up, when I followed my dad, grandfather to -- to hunt ugruks with a boat, but the ice had to be broken up first out in the Sound.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. So when you went out for just regular seals, those were the natchiq? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So, can you describe that trip? That was by dogteam following your dad? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: What time of year? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, February and March.

ANDY MAHONEY: And how far -- how far did you travel to -- to find seals? Were they locally here near town or did you have to go out to the -- ?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, you had to go -- because the -- at the edge of the shallow water is probably about twelve, fifteen miles over here. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, okay.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: And then the deep water out there where the currents are is usually where the lead was.

ANDY MAHONEY: And so you -- you’d go hunting at the lead? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So that -- you’d go twelve, fifteen miles out, huh? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Sometimes more, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. What about nowadays? Where’s that lead, same place? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Same place, yeah. It hasn’t changed. It's just -- just thinner and more dangerous.

ANDY MAHONEY: So, yeah, I was going to ask -- you think it was safe to go out there when -- well, not safe, but safer to go out there when you went with your dad than nowadays? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It was thicker, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, thicker. Okay, yup. And so -- sorry, Joe.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Used to be real thick -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- out there. About six feet, five feet. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: When it pile up.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you used to get big ivu's (pressure ridges) out on the -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Out on the -- yeah, out there.

KAREN BREWSTER: By where the deep hits the shallow? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But now you don’t get those? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I don’t know, we haven’t been out in a while. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, I never go out in a couple years.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, the last times you went out. The difference between when you were boys and when you were men out there hunting. The last -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: The ivus were around all the time, you know, but -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We know right after a big, strong east wind that there would be a lead out there. But it had to be an east wind. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: And after that we can go out and there’s always a lead out there.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. And the ice that’s -- that you’re going across, it’s attached to the land, to the beach. And you know that’s not gonna go anywhere? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: But there -- are there signs that you would -- you learned to look for to learn if the ice was about to become unsafe, maybe it was about to start breaking up?

Was there a change in the wind or anything that you would look for?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I don’t know we were worried about the wind. We never hunted when it was real windy. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, okay. JOE HARRIS SR.: It’s -- it’s gotta be -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s gotta be calm. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- west or --

ANDY MAHONEY: Ah, okay. If it was too strong -- JOE HARRIS SR.: To be out there. ANDY MAHONEY: -- if it was too strong, it’s not safe to go out? Okay.

JOE HARRIS SR.: East wind, we don’t be out there when it’s kinda real windy.

KAREN BREWSTER: ‘Cause it could push it out? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. It could be -- (inaudible)

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We watch out for cracks, too. Here's a crack, you know. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We stay on the land side. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. Mm-hm, mm-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so an east wind -- if you’re out there, or if it’s an east wind, you won’t go out?

JOE HARRIS SR.: Around here. But down that way, I think. But Kivalina way, maybe. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

What happens if there’s a south or southwest wind? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Water’s gonna come up.

KAREN BREWSTER: And what does that do to the ice? JOE HARRIS SR.: It take it in. Close the lead.

KAREN BREWSTER: It closes the lead? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does it push it up onto the beach? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. KAREN BREWSTER: No, it’s just what happens out there. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Mm-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: So all this ice that’s close in to town and attached, that doesn’t move? JOE HARRIS SR.: No. KAREN BREWSTER: It doesn’t crack and get pushed around? JOE HARRIS SR.: No.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’ll -- if there’s a lot of pressure from the bottom they will have overflow. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It all turn a real shallow water or along the beach.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. But ju -- does the overflow happen farther out or just right close in? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Just right close.

KAREN BREWSTER: So how does that -- it’s in the sha -- the overflow is in the shallow waters? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, because when the -- if the ice is, you know, to the beach for instance or across here in the shallow water, the sand bars -- KAREN BREWSTER: Uh-huh. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: And the pressure, it’s stuck to the ground. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: And the -- wherever they -- there’s ice that moves, it’ll crack and then the water comes -- comes right out.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. And if it’s over water then the -- there’s more room -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: The ice would move. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, okay. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Up and down.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. Now has that -- with the ice getting thinner, has that overflow changed? Is there more of it, less of it, does the thickness of the ice make a difference? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, there was only -- I think there was one this year, ah? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: One time it overflowed. And that’s strange because we used to see more than that. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, really? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. Yeah, I didn’t know if it’s thicker ice -- or now it’s thinner ice, does it overflow? Does it move more so it doesn’t overflow or --

I don’t know. That’s my question, is -- does the thickness -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, it don’t make it any difference because --

I don’t know what’s going on with the rest of the areas, but when -- when it don’t freeze early out -- way out there, I believe it has to do something with the storms and winds that we get.

You know, so -- especially when the -- we've noticed that the ice recedes from the north, toward the North Pole. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We’re getting more falltime storms before freeze-up.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. And so you’re get -- and there’s no ice out there. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. KAREN BREWSTER: And that didn’t used to happen, huh? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, it’s happening more than before. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It happened every year, but it’s more -- KAREN BREWSTER: Right. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: -- more now.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are the storms stronger? More -- higher winds and bigger waves? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: About the same -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. They haven’t gotten real strong.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does it cause a lot of erosion on the beach? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

So, Joe, when you used to go out seal hunting out there, you ever been on ice that there was a crack and then you got drifted out? JOE HARRIS SR.: I never get drifted out. That’s -- only once, I think. Just for a little while, but we get a ways to come back.

KAREN BREWSTER: So what happened? JOE HARRIS SR.: That was -- that was with a dogteams -- KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. JOE HARRIS SR.: From Sealing Point when we stayed.

But you can see the other side little ways. And we just go around it and we find a way to come back across. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

ANDY MAHONEY: So you -- you found somewhere where the lead or the crack was -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: You -- you could cross it easily? Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: When it co -- yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: So did you --

JOE HARRIS SR.: But you've got to watch before. If it start piling up. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

JOE HARRIS SR.: If you’re not fast enough, it’ll -- just gonna (inaudible) -- and get stuck in there. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So did you -- you had to wait for the ice you were on to come back around or you just found a place?

JOE HARRIS SR.: There used to be lots of ice you can’t even see the open places out there before. Just -- just the lead’s there.

When it come in it -- (inaudible) -- no -- The lead is all closed up. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Nowadays, there’s no ice. No ice, I guess, out there. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No thick ice. KAREN BREWSTER: No thick ice. JOE HARRIS SR.: No that kind.

KAREN BREWSTER: So with the thin ice, does that mean you can get to the -- you see the lead, but between where you are and the lead it's too thin to walk on? Is that what’s happening when you --

I mean, like the lead is still there, but you can’t get to it?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, we never -- never hunted like that. We hunt right up until the edge, right up to the lead. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: On the -- on the good ice. When there’s -- when there’s thin ice on there, we don’t worry about that, we don’t go out. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We’re not that hungry.

KAREN BREWSTER: But that’s what, I guess, I’m wondering. Yeah, so can you still get to the lead?

Is the ice at the edge of the lead still thick enough, you can be on it nowadays? JOE HARRIS SR.: I think so. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I think so, yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: There's some --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We -- we know how -- what -- what’s safe out there, you know. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOE HARRIS SR.: It’s safe. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s safe to walk on.

JOE HARRIS SR.: It used to be safe to go out with a dogteam than snowmachines.

ANDY MAHONEY: You can travel on thinner ice with a dog team -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: -- than you can -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: When it's moving.

JOE HARRIS SR.: And you -- and you could -- and you'll know which way you’re gonna go on the trail. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. JOE HARRIS SR.: When it’s real bad out there.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: You can see which ices are piled on -- or -- you know.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. So with a dog team you'd -- you’d go around? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. I’d find a place to go around.

KAREN BREWSTER: Did you have dogs who could tell? Did they know when it was --

JOE HARRIS SR.: They’d -- yeah, we'd -- they know. Them dogs know. Just like us, too, before. Yeah. Now we can -- I got only one dog left. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: You’re lucky. JOE HARRIS SR.: House dog.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. But that’s -- I was wondering was good things about dogteams is they could -- they can tell if it wasn’t safe and would save you? I don’t know.

If you have a good lead dog? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, it turned pretty good. They had to be good. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, gotta be. Gotta have a good lead dog, though, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: What did you feed your dogs? JOE HARRIS SR.: Seals. ANDY MAHONEY: Seals?

JOE HARRIS SR.: Hm mm. When we were out there. We didn’t get much ugruks while we're running dogs, but when it open up they start -- they all start getting ugruks. With kayaks, but --

KAREN BREWSTER: And so with dogs you’re hunting the natchiq (ringed seals)? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And that’s at the edge or did -- did -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Once in a while they get ugruks, alright.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Does anybody -- did anybody hunt natchiq at the breathing holes? JOE HARRIS SR.: No. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. JOE HARRIS SR.: Right in the lead, there.

KAREN BREWSTER: Just at the lead. I was thinking of sunning themselves on the ice.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Ugruks are, yeah, but not the seals. KAREN BREWSTER: Natchiq don’t do that? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, they will be starting here soon. JOE HARRIS SR.: As it gets -- days get longer and --

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm-mm. But in March, April it’s all -- the natchiq don’t come up on the ice and do that, huh? JOE HARRIS SR.: I think they always be out. That's some out -- way out there someplace.

KAREN BREWSTER: So when did people stop using dogteam and going out on the ice and camp -- spending the night like you did as a boy? JOE HARRIS SR.: When they start getting them snowmachines. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Sixties. KAREN BREWSTER: 1960s? JOE HARRIS SR.: Uh-huh.

KAREN BREWSTER: With snowmachine you can get out and back faster? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Same day. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Same day, yeah. With snowmachine, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: And you didn’t have to hunt for food for the snowmachine. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, but you got to buy gas.

So, I -- I’ve heard people say that with the change in the temperatures now, freeze-up is later and break-up is earlier? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Mm-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Have you noticed that? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yep. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So when you were younger, what month would you first go out on the ice? When was it thick enough for you to go out on -- I mean, it changes year to year but --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, we didn’t start hunting seals until, you know, it was maybe January, yeah? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, around there someplace. Around there when they had dogteams. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, you’d still wait ‘til January.

And nowadays the same, are people -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Hardly anybody goes out. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: But if we were hungry we'd go out.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, it’s good food. But is -- I was wondering if the ice is thick enough and safe enough by January? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Now. It is? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: February, especially. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And -- yeah, ‘cause when we were here last year and we went out with Cyrus, hadn’t it just kinda refrozen in some section, Andy? It had been --

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, there was -- there was an area that was quite a bit thinner than -- there was newer -- I think maybe it was a month or so old. The ice that -- that we were standing on. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And that was just off of Sisualik. So that wasn’t the lead, was it? That had refrozen? I don’t know?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I don’t think so. How far out did you go? ANDY MAHONEY: Just a couple miles. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, that wasn’t the lead. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But somehow there had been open water. I mean the ice there hadn’t been ice for very long. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It was just starting to freeze then. ANDY MAHONEY: So we -- KAREN BREWSTER: That late in March? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Off the beach. Oh no, in March it was okay.

JOE HARRIS SR.: February, I was -- KAREN BREWSTER: February -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Someplace around there it was still open. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: You could see that open place. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, I think that's what --

KAREN BREWSTER: So it took ‘til February to freeze up, huh? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, way out, yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We had shorefast ice.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. That seems late.

What about this year? What happened this year? JOE HARRIS SR.: I think it was still open around February. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Maybe. Like Sisualik side. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Across there. JOE HARRIS SR.: On that way. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. JOE HARRIS SR.: Even down that way, I think.

KAREN BREWSTER: Really? And -- that unusual? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, it’s open right here to December. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. You could -- can you be boating in December? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not unless you’re really hungry.

KAREN BREWSTER: Or you have an ice breaker? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, our boats are put away. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, you put ‘em away. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: When do you put ‘em away? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Falltime. Whenever they have -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Right as soon as it freeze -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Right after they get done hunting caribou.

KAREN BREWSTER: So is that October, November? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, October. JOE HARRIS SR.: October.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So -- and then June you start out again? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: So if you put the boats away in November -- in -- or October, November, but you -- you have to wait ‘til January or maybe February for the ice to be safe enough. What do you -- what’s going on in -- in December typically? Are people -- is there much hunting taking place? Or --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not out there anymore.

ANDY MAHONEY: So are people going inland somehow? Is -- is Kobuk Lake -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s frozen. ANDY MAHONEY: It -- that -- that’s frozen. Okay. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: So you can go upriver maybe -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: -- or -- yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But, is there any subsistence activity going on? Is there any fishing or hunting? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: What, December? KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: There might be some guys with sheefish nets out under the ice, you know, but -- then people --

between the villages now with the phones and everything, we basically know where the caribou are. If we want some fresh meat we can go, you know, but -- KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Most of us get our meat before and then put them in the freezers. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. Yeah.

Is there much trapping going on? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not anymore. KAREN BREWSTER: Not anymore. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Probably just recreational. A few guys, you know.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So, we were talking about the overflow. I’ve heard the word supi? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Oh, what is supi? Yeah -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: -- that’s when the creeks open up.

KAREN BREWSTER: So that’s in springtime? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, especially on the coast across there where there’s -- the lagoons are. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Or down past Cape Blossom or Sadie Creek. The fall storms would build the ice, -- I mean, these gravel up so the -- the creeks are closed. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: So when it’s supi it means it pushes everything right -- it makes the channel right through.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, okay. And does that effect the ice? I mean, that water goes out onto the -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: On top. KAREN BREWSTER: On top.

You probably don’t want to cross that then, do you? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No.

KAREN BREWSTER: It -- does it tell you something when -- the time of year when it’s supi, does that mean what’s going to come next? Is it -- does it tell you what to expect?

It just -- it happens. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It just happens, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: The -- the berms that close off the -- the rivers in -- in fall, do they happen every year? Or is it just -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Just along the coast.

ANDY MAHONEY: Is it -- is it all along the coast -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: -- that these berms form, and does it happen every year? Or is it only --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Sometimes it's stay open during the fall. Depends on how much -- how much rain we get.

ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, it depends on the rain, too. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’ll keep it open. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: The creek.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does the wind direction make a difference for building up those berms? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. If we get a west wind across there, it’ll start building them back up.

KAREN BREWSTER: And that’s what they used for that fishing, right? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Up at -- is it Anigaaq? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Anigaaq, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: They fish in those areas?

JOE HARRIS SR.: That’s where we get lot of fish. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Anigaaq. When it’s closed. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Falltime. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. That’s falltime? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Just right as -- before freeze-up.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you go there by boat. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. Them guys -- these guys would stay across there and go with four wheelers, but from here in Kotzebue you have to go across.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Without them four-wheelers, we used to go dog -- dogteams through the ground and go down.

KAREN BREWSTER: From Sisualik? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. Or walked out.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you used dog teams on the gravel? JOE HARRIS SR.: Oh, yeah. They used -- KAREN BREWSTER: Ah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: We used to year round, them days. Right across there, Sisualik side.

ANDY MAHONEY: And so was that a -- a sled? The same sled as you’d use in winter on the gravel? Or is it -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, same sled. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. It just runs over the gravel? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Alright.

KAREN BREWSTER: A lot of -- a little more resistance for the dogs. ANDY MAHONEY: They have to work harder. KAREN BREWSTER: Work harder. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So does the -- when you’re out on the ice, what -- certain things you’re looking for to know it’s safe. Like is there a different color that tells you this is good ice or bad ice?

JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, them old people, they know it. Yeah. We always be camping out there three or four days sometimes. Out in the ice. When it’s good weather.

KAREN BREWSTER: What -- what counts as good weather? No wind? JOE HARRIS SR.: No wind. And no east wind. West and south if -- it’s good to be out there.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. Have you ever been at the lead when ice is coming in and it starts piling up? JOE HARRIS SR.: I was -- one time I was --

I stayed up all night shooting seals and while my dad and somebody else sleeping. In the morning, when they get up, I go to sleep right on my sled. My sled farther -- close to the lead.

Pretty soon I start waking up, my sled was going. Here they push me up and that ice come in and was piling up. Right -- soon as they take me up there, but that’s where I’m sleeping was big pile of -- KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- ice. ANDY MAHONEY: Wow. It was a good job you were sleeping on your sled.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about you, Willie? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I’ve never had that experience.

KAREN BREWSTER: But you’ve had a drifting out experience? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. KAREN BREWSTER: Or getting caught out ugruk hunting? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. KAREN BREWSTER: No.

JOE HARRIS SR.: My dad, though, he always go ugruk hunting walking from camp out there outside. Look for ugruk, walking on the other side the lead when it’s closed in. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.

JOE HARRIS SR.: And when he get ugruk, he go get it himself with dogteam.

KAREN BREWSTER: So he was out on the other side of the crack? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.

JOE HARRIS SR.: They know -- they know, that’s why them peoples out there. That kind of peoples. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: That’s what -- I -- I’m always very amazed that -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: They're the ones that grew up over there, you know. JOE HARRIS SR.: They grow up down there. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Hunting. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: They have to.

KAREN BREWSTER: Right. But some of it they passed on to you guys, right? (phone rings) WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: They tell us. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Can I answer that? KAREN BREWSTER: I'll pause it, go ahead.

Well, you said this is all simple stuff so we need to ask you something harder? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. ANDY MAHONEY: So you -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Things that he knows, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: You’re describing your -- your parents and grandparents would be hunting on the ice, the other side of the lead. Do you think that was -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No.

ANDY MAHONEY: No, is that what you said? Or the other side of the crack? JOE HARRIS SR.: No. They walk around on the other side.

My dad always go -- walk around on the other side for the -- the wind is right south or -- ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, if the wind is -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Right. Okay.

JOE HARRIS SR.: And gee, they know that current out there. When that current is going out that way, they won’t go out, though.

ANDY MAHONEY: So do you -- do you think the ice has become more dangerous or no change since when --

JOE HARRIS SR.: We never go out there for I don’t know how many years.

Boating time, though, last -- last two years, though, I didn’t even go out with a boat. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, so, I mean, the question is it -- is the ice more dangerous or is it that the people don’t know those things anymore so they don’t go out? Is my question.

Like your grandfather knew when it was safe to be on the other side of that crack. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: So he took that chance. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But nowadays, people maybe don’t go out on the other side. Is it because it’s more dangerous or because they don’t know how to be safe on the other side? JOE HARRIS SR.: That ice is getting thin, too, that’s why, out there. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: It used to be real thick.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: You know, our grandfather, it was second nature to him to watch everything all at once, at the same time and know when it’s safe. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: If something missing from being safe he wouldn’t go. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Like if the wind is going the wrong direction. And they knew the currents out there, too.

ANDY MAHONEY: So -- so do you think that you don’t know the ice quite as well as your grandparents did? Or has the ice changed? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s thinner, we know that. JOE HARRIS SR.: We know it’s thinner. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. JOE HARRIS SR.: Thinner, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Sounds like maybe a combination. You haven’t needed to spend as much time -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. KAREN BREWSTER: -- on the ice so you haven't needed to learn as much detail as they knew.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Because they had -- they needed seals for dog food and for their own food. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: You know, we don’t have any dogs anymore. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. They were out there a lot. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: It sounds like Joe’s grandfather -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: We had the same grandfather. KAREN BREWSTER: Well, your grandfather and Joe’s father, they spent a lot of time -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Oh, yeah, they -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: -- out on that ice. And --

JOE HARRIS SR.: That’s the only thing they hunt them days. No caribous them days around here when we growing up. ANDY MAHONEY: Really? KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Nothing.

ANDY MAHONEY: So when did they come? JOE HARRIS SR.: Have to go way up.

ANDY MAHONEY: Is that because the caribou came closer or because it was easier -- JOE HARRIS SR.: They’re -- they’re passing through over here. Come around, yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Alright, I never heard --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, they're just -- those caribou are in a cycle just like rabbits and ptarmigan. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay, right.

KAREN BREWSTER: And the -- the size of the population changed, too, right? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, as the cycle goes up, and it goes down there’s hardly any or they’re not around.

KAREN BREWSTER: Or they went someplace else. They spent the winter someplace -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: They’re farther away. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. They were farther away, and you didn’t have snowmachines. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: So it took longer to get to them? Yeah. Right.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Like when they want caribou, they had to stay out at least two weeks. Sometimes a month. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.

JOE HARRIS SR.: And they'd go all the way, maybe all the way to Nome now maybe, ah? When they come this way. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Pass by.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about going into the -- upriver into the mountains? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: That’s where they went. JOE HARRIS SR.: That’s where -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Up north. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- that’s where they go, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah, Noatak and past there? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Way past.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Wow. So when your dad would go out seal hunting, he didn't spend -- did he spend two weeks like you’re talking about for caribou or -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. JOE HARRIS SR.: No. Two, three days. Four days sometimes.

KAREN BREWSTER: ‘Cause I’ve -- I’ve heard about long time ago like Noatak people would go over to the -- by Sealing Point and out there. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Rabbit Creek. KAREN BREWSTER: Rabbit Creek? And camp out on the ice -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: -- for like what, a month or something, right? JOE HARRIS SR.: I thought, I heard, yeah. I don’t know.

KAREN BREWSTER: That is a long time. So when he went out on the ice on the other side of the crack, on the lead, did he go by himself or he take his dogs with him? JOE HARRIS SR.: Just walk. KAREN BREWSTER: Just walk, yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: By himself, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Leave the dog team back there? JOE HARRIS SR.: Leave our -- leave to me the camp, yeah. With the dogteams.

KAREN BREWSTER: Did he use a tuuq? JOE HARRIS SR.: He always have that all the time, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah, and that’s what we’re, you know, asking about. What -- as we said they knew so much.

And so trying to understand what’s gotten passed along, you know. You guys have still been out there hunting, you still have made it home, so you learned things from them. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so, you know, trying to understand what some of those things are that they passed on to you so you knew how to be safe out there.

So you said he tested the cur -- he checked the current. JOE HARRIS SR.: Oh, yeah, yeah, he always check the current. Oh, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: How did he check the current? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Couple of (inaudible).

JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, if you have empty shell, just drop it down in the -- the water. It always make bubbles going up.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Whatever air is in the -- in the -- in the shell, has already been fired.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Uh-huh. And when it go down, you can see the bubbles going up, and it always go follow that current.

KAREN BREWSTER: Which way the bubbles go? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, the -- the empty shell will be following the current. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, and then -- KAREN BREWSTER: Which way the shell goes. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: I was wondering if the bubbles tell you something. So he’d have to find a crack? Or he did that at the lead? JOE HARRIS SR.: He’ll stay in the lead. Camp. KAREN BREWSTER: So he’d drop -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Right by the lead, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: He’d drop that in the lead to see? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. Even out there, when he’s out there, maybe.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are there different currents that go on out in the bay? JOE HARRIS SR.: The way we hunt over here on Sealing Point side, the current can’t -- can’t get strong ‘til late. I think, June, maybe.

‘Cause we always be down there starting from May, middle part of May.

There always be a lot of peoples camping, go hunting out down there, for the spring, from Noatak and Kotzebue.

KAREN BREWSTER: For seal hunting? JOE HARRIS SR.: Just to gather the food, yeah. Seal oil, make seal oil. Yep.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so the current gets stronger -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Later. KAREN BREWSTER: -- later? JOE HARRIS SR.: It always get a little-- yeah, it always get stronger a little late.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. After the ice goes out? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: After it breaks up. JOE HARRIS SR.: After it breaks up.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, it's still pieces.

Are there currents at different depths that’s different? Or is it different currents -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I heard ‘em out -- them guys in Kivalina talk about it when they go way out, you know, forty, sixty miles out, the different levels of currents are out there.

But, we don’t -- our's -- it’s -- we don’t go that far out. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Right out here where it’s no more than forty feet deep.

KAREN BREWSTER: Right. So most of the bay here is -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: -- the same.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, it’s around sixty feet in the middle, but, you know --

KAREN BREWSTER: When people go sheefish fishing, they go out Kobuk Lake or do you go out in front of town? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Kobuk Lake. Or right in front of town right now.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Are they -- are those fish moving? Different times of year they’re -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. Maybe they’re coming out this far to eat, but that’s it. They’re -- they don’t go out to the ocean.

KAREN BREWSTER: Even in the summertime? Even in -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. They spend most --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Summertime they’re way up north. They’re way up in the rivers spawning. KAREN BREWSTER: Spawning, yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Getting ready to go spawn, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. You get some pretty big sheefish around here. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Oh yeah, four feet. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: So do you dist -- do you distinguish between the ice that forms in Kobuk Lake and the ice that forms in the -- in the Sound? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, when it’s going out we know. ANDY MAHONEY: But -- but --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: 'Cause it’s got -- it’s like icicles coming out of Kobuk Lake. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, and that doesn’t happen -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, it don’t happen out -- ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: ‘Cause it’s salty.

ANDY MAHONEY: That’s right, okay, yeah. Where do you think -- do you typically see a -- a line or -- or where does that change take place from where you have the -- the -- the -- the fresh ice that forms the candles to the salty ice that doesn’t form the candles?

Do you know where that happens? Is that right off shore here or is it -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, it’s inland. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, it’s inland! WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Nothing out this way.

ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. So -- so if you go off -- off here from town, that ice there is -- is salty ice? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. The one out toward the ocean, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. Okay. Do you -- do you use the lake ice for drinking water? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, and so you can’t use this ice for drinking water, you can only use the -- the lake ice? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Normally, we don’t -- we don’t get any ice from out here for drinking water. It’s -- it’s the ones in Kobuk Lake that's coming out. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, okay. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are there different Iñupiaq words for the ice that’s out there versus Kobuk Lake’s ice? Like fresh ice versus salt water ice? Or is it all just siku? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s siku, ah, but that -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Siku, yeah, ice. Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Like icicles, too, that gets out here in salt water, it starts to melt. It melts right away. But it’s going out.

KAREN BREWSTER: So in Iñupiaq there’s no difference between fresh water ice and salt water ice? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: (Speaking in Iñupiaq) JOE HARRIS SR.: (Speaking in Iñupiaq)

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: I can’t think of the Iñupiaq word for the ice that comes out from Kobuk Lake.

ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, but is it correct if I -- if I called the lake -- the ice in Kobuk Lake, if I called that siku, that is still correct? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, it’s still ice. Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I -- I wouldn’t be -- I wouldn’t be too wrong. No.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about that ice where it starts candling? What, like you were saying -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: That’s what I’m saying, I’m trying to think of the Iñupiaq name for it. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, that candle ice has an Iñupiaq name? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Sikugluk, or siku -- no. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: (Speaking in Iñupiaq) KAREN BREWSTER: That’s okay. We’ll find --

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: You’re not going to find it out there, let me put it that way. KAREN BREWSTER: No, but you were talking about it over here, so -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: We’re interested in the -- the salt water ice, but also the connection with Kobuk Lake and all of that. So I was just curious if there’s a difference in the words that people use. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. There is a difference. There’s a name for it.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And like -- ‘cause in Barrow, the shorefast ice, the taġiuq -- Is that the shorefast ice? ANDY MAHONEY: Tuvaq. KAREN BREWSTER: Tuvaq. Oh yeah, tuvaq.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Same with us, tuvaq is going to the edge of the -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Tuvaq, yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: But it’s shorefast ice right at the edge there.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you call it tuvaq, also? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Alright. And you use ivu? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Mm-hm. JOE HARRIS SR.: Ivu, yeah, them -- when it -- when it pile up. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And the lead, uiñiq? JOE HARRIS SR.: Uiñiq, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.

What about the different wind directions? Like you’re -- the east wind you talked about. The bad wind. Do you have a Iñupiaq -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Uŋalaq JOE HARRIS SR.: Uŋalaq. KAREN BREWSTER: Uŋalaq.

And then that south, southwest that brings the water? What -- what -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Nigiqpaq, south -- West. West. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, west wind is nigiqpaq.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Qalutnaq (sp?). We always call it qalutnaq when it’s south. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Do you have a qaisaġnaq? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: A what?

KAREN BREWSTER: Maybe that’s current, qaisaġnaq? ANDY MAHONEY: In -- KAREN BREWSTER: I think that’s current.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, in Utqiaġvik, that’s what they call the current that comes from the south. Is qaisaġnaq. And that -- and that’s the -- KAREN BREWSTER: West. ANDY MAHONEY: -- current that will lift the -- Yeah, south or west, I guess. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: That’s the current that will lift the ice.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And -- and up there I’ve heard people talk about being at the lead edge and the current -- there’s all that ice out there and it comes -- coming in, and they move.

They also have a -- a muġałłiq -- muġałłiq that -- it’s when you’re at the lead and you start seeing ice coming up from underneath where you’re standing. Have you seen that? It’s like it’s -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not out here, no.

KAREN BREWSTER: No, you don’t see that around here. Okay. That’s -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: ‘Cause our lead’s not too far out.

JOE HARRIS SR.: They get strong currents up at Barrow and -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- Point Hope.

As soon as that ice start coming even in Point Hope they always just move off from out there. KAREN BREWSTER: ‘Cause it's going to crash in, yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. Pile up or something.

KAREN BREWSTER: But that doesn’t happen when you’re out at the lead? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No. JOE HARRIS SR.: No, not around here.

ANDY MAHONEY: And so when you’re at the lead, you say the water depth is -- it’s only forty feet or so? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, yeah, right out here. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But if you go -- from Sealing Point, you go out to the lead, how far out did you used to go? JOE HARRIS SR.: Quite a ways out, about ten miles maybe.

KAREN BREWSTER: And was the ocean deeper out there? JOE HARRIS SR.: Oh, yeah, it’s -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: It’s deeper, right.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Right close to -- you can see Espenberg Hills sometimes when you go out hunting. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Did you -- JOE HARRIS SR.: On the other side.

KAREN BREWSTER: I’ve heard that people used to travel across the ice from here to Espenberg. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah, they used to. Before.

ANDY MAHONEY: Have -- have either of you ever done that? That journey across the ice? No. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not to Espenberg.

ANDY MAHONEY: No. Too dangerous or just no -- no reason to? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No reason to. JOE HARRIS SR.: It can be dangerous, I guess, huh? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It's dangerous, too. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, okay. KAREN BREWSTER: Nowadays, yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: They still have to go around when they go Shismaref now, I think. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So a -- a long way around. JOE HARRIS SR.: Through Deering, someplace. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. You said not to Espenberg, but have you gone to other places across? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No reason to. KAREN BREWSTER: No. Yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Some boats always be out across there though. Duck hunting sometimes. Falltime. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Used to. I don’t know about right now. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Before freeze-up.

JOE HARRIS SR.: It take already the -- they -- it didn’t take long to go across, I guess, with them speed boats. It’s not that far.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah, that’s quite a -- quite a ways across on the ice. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Forty miles, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And they’d do it by dogteam? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Used to. JOE HARRIS SR.: We used to, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: And so why would they have been doing that journey? There -- there wasn’t a community at Espenberg, was there? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No.

ANDY MAHONEY: No? So would they have been going to Kivalina? Or sorry shish -- Shishmaref? JOE HARRIS SR.: Shishmaref side, yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. But all the -- JOE HARRIS SR.: The point. ANDY MAHONEY: -- hunting and the --

JOE HARRIS SR.: The point is right -- from that big mountain right straight across, I think. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And so --

JOE HARRIS SR.: Then you go around it and Shishmaref. Boats always come around once in a while.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so people would -- used to travel more between Shishmaref and Kotzebue?

Did people used to go back and forth a lot? JOE HARRIS SR.: I -- not too much. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Not that much. JOE HARRIS SR.: Not that much. Once in a while they’d come around. Shishmaref.

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. And so those who did, it was faster than going all the way around? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Back then, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It don't -- The Sound doesn’t start freezing up now until after Christmas. There might be some shorefast ice, but out there it’s still -- still open.

KAREN BREWSTER: And when you were a boy, when would that start freezing up out there? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: October, November, huh? JOE HARRIS SR.: Last part of October, we always -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: -- go across with dog team from Sisualik to here.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And now you can’t do that? JOE HARRIS SR.: Last part of October, yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No.

KAREN BREWSTER: So even the -- getting across to Sisualik doesn’t freeze up ‘til Christmas? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No it -- JOE HARRIS SR.: It always freeze up, alright, but it always be thin on this channel over here. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

KAREN BREWSTER: You have to cross the deep channel? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s still open right here. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Right in front here.

KAREN BREWSTER: So it can be open in here but then free -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Have shorefast ice -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Gotta go around over that way. Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: By Lockhardt Point someplace, go across. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

JOE HARRIS SR.: Side -- side of Lockhardt Point. Then this side was always open all the time. Shallow.

KAREN BREWSTER: How come this part stays open? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It’s the current. JOE HARRIS SR.: Current.

ANDY MAHONEY: The channel runs past.

KAREN BREWSTER: It’s the Noatak Channel? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Well, it’s -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Noatak and -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: -- current from Kobuk, Selawik, and Noatak -- JOE HARRIS SR.: Kobuk -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: -- rivers. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: All come out right through here in front of Kotzebue.

KAREN BREWSTER: Has that channel changed? Has it always been right in front or -- WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: -- did it used to be farther out? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, it’s always been right here. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: As far as I know, you know, I don’t think it's changed. JOE HARRIS SR.: Not too much.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. Are there any stories you -- we asked about drifting out and -- any stories you’ve heard from long time ago about people drifting out? Whether they made it back or not?

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Uncle Doc did, eh? JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Our uncle Doc.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: That’s Cyrus’ dad. KAREN BREWSTER: Uh-huh. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, I think Cyrus told us that.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. What was that story? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, I got the -- I got the CD. He talked about it himself. KAREN BREWSTER: Doc did? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, what did he say? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: He was out there, what, three days? JOE HARRIS SR.: Three days, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. That would be a fun story to listen to him telling it. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Is it in Iñupiaq or English? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: It was in English part ways, but -- Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Mixture. Yeah.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: He was -- he was lucky he had Henry’s leader. His dad’s (pointing to Joe) leader out there. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: How did the dog help? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Pretty good leader. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. Yeah, he knows some thin places, I guess. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: Too.

KAREN BREWSTER: So the dog helped brought him -- bring him home, huh? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. JOE HARRIS SR.: That’s what he always said, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Good bond between man and his dog. JOE HARRIS SR.: Got to have good leaders to be out there when you had dogteam.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: That Gideon Barr, ah, from Shishmaref. JOE HARRIS SR.: Yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Him and Bill Barr from Shishmaref, they ended up across there, too.

KAREN BREWSTER: By Krusenstern? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, on the other side. By where -- Killigmak or someplace. JOE HARRIS SR.: Someplace down there, yeah. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.

WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: And Gideon, he didn’t wanna leave his kayak he -- he paddle all the way back to Shishmaref. KAREN BREWSTER: Around the coast or across? WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: No, around the coast.

KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. When was that? JOE HARRIS SR.: When he was young, I guess. WILLIE GOODWIN JR.: Yeah, when he was younger probably. JOE HARRIS SR.: He died quite a while ago.

KAREN BREWSTER: So 1950s? '60?